KHADC panel against non-tribals taking Khasi surnames

Shillong, Feb 25: A committee set up by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has sought a bar on non-tribal from taking a Khasi surname.

The committee, headed by Bindo M Lanong, on Friday tabled the new Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2020, which is also against a Khasi following the patrilineal system.


“After one year of our sitting, we decided to hand over this KHAD (Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2020 before the executive committee through the KHADC chief Titosstarwell Chyne,” Lanong told reporters after chairing a meeting of the committee.

The meeting was attended by former sessions judge Herman Nongrum, educationist Aristotle Lyngdoh, former diplomat R Wahlang, clan elder E Suting and joint secretary of the council A Nonghuloo.

KHADC constituted the committee on April 7, 2020, after the KHAD (Social Custom of Clan Administration) Bill, 2018, was returned by the governor with a message in 2019.

The nominated MDC said the preamble of the bill is a matrilineal aspect of the law and the Khasi community is known as a matrilineal society.

“Whoever is a Khasi will have to identify himself/herself as a person who claims the title from a mother. Anybody who goes beyond the purview of this law in respect of taking a title from the father henceforth will be barred,” he said.

Lanong further informed that the clan legislation also barred non-Khasis from taking a Khasi title for privileges.

“There is a clause that no one will be able to adopt a Khasi title fraudulently… There were cases of fraud… when KHADC will pass this bill, when the Governor will assent this Bill, all these frauds will end,” he said.

The bill also prevents Khasis from changing traditional surnames to Western spellings.

“Whoever goes to the court by an affidavit or by a declaration or obtain a certificate as such desired by him and if it does not concur with the title as recognised by the clan it will be barred, it will be forfeited and it will be cancelled and no recognition will be given to such cases,” he said.

Lanong warned against violating the clause in the bill as this would invite legal action.

He further informed that a tribunal will also be set up to ensure there will be justice for everyone.

Lanong said it would depend on the executive committee to study and introduce the new Bill in the upcoming session or whenever they feel like.

When asked, Lanong said that the Bill will be applicable to whoever is a Khasi wherever he/she may be.

“Whoever is a Khasi and wherever he/she may be, may be in Jaintia Hills, Delhi or even in a foreign land, this law will be applicable to him/her,” he said.

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